Thursday, February 17, 2022

Qantu - Chuncho, 70% - Ayachucho, Peru (bar) - Feb.17, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Chuncho, 70% - Ayachucho, Peru (bar)
Good +
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 143 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

Today's Chuncho 70% - Ayachucho, Peru cacao dark chocolate (bar) was from Qantu Cacao et Chocolat Inc. (Montreal, QC, Canada). 

Chuncho cacao(s) are associated with the Cusco area of Peru, but may include hybrids and different varieties of complex, rich cacao. (Ayacucho is a city (between Lima and Cusco) in south central Peru on the slopes of the Andean Cordillera (mountain range(s)).)

Aroma notes for this bar included: floral and light maple graham cracker/cookie.

This dark chocolate had a smooth, fudge-y texture with an initial thick creamy melt, ending with a very slight astringency.

The complex flavor notes included: rich dark, chocolate; floral; diffuse red fruit (berry); loamy, slightly bitter earth; honey; and faint nut notes. At least 15 seconds into the finish there was also a unique, very faint fleeting pepper spice cookie (light honey mustard, floral pepper) and (after a subsequent re-tasting) almond cherry notes in the finish.

The chocolates maker(s) must have debated how long to roast the Peruvian cacao used to make this unique, complex 70% chocolate. A lighter roast profile helps preserve more delicate/volatile floral notes. And a longer roast/processing time can mellow out sharper, sometimes less desirable notes.

It's relatively rare for a dark bar to have both light floral and honey cookie notes coexisting with bolder (faintly bitter/loamy earth) notes. 

Choosing roast and grind/conch/refine times would have been like hitting two targets with one arrow. This is conjecture on my part, but a blended roast may have been considered for this reason, to preserve/maintain a range of flavors like those in today's chocolate.

Maker's tasting notes: "floral and nuts"

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of milk and nuts"
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